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Reps quiz BOI over N75bn Covid-19 fund R

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The House of Representatives quizzed the management of the Bank of Industry (BOI) on Tuesday regarding the N75 billion COVID-19 intervention fund and the unrecovered Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) off-take grant from 19,538 Nigerians.

During the investigative hearing into the alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 intervention funds by the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), Hon. Bamidele Salam, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, directed the Management of the Bank to provide relevant documents on all the disbursements carried out by the Bank.

Providing an update on the disbursement of the fund, BOI Managing Director, Mr. Olasupo Olusi confirmed that the Bank managed the N75 billion COVID-19 fund on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Mr. Olusi, represented by Executive Director of Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Omar Shekarau, disclosed that beneficiaries were under the five tracks of implementation, which included payroll support track totaling N47,592,550,000; General MSME grants totaling N4,124,550,000; Artisan and Transport track totaling N11,947,800,000; MSME off-take totaling N2,335,120,000, and CAC formalization support track totaling N1,494,534,000.

He explained that each beneficiary is entitled to the sum of N30,000.

“Bank of Industry received 12 percent of the N75 billion totaling N9 billion as a running cost for the project.

“Under the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme, 19,538 beneficiaries failed to deliver their items after receiving the 30 percent mobilization fee, thereby breaching the contract with the Federal Government.

He said that those who benefited from the intervention programs were artisans, transporters, small business owners, and private and public school staff.

Reacting to the Committee’s question on the mechanism put in place to recover the MSME off-take, the Executive Director said the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency is in charge of recovering the loan.

When the bank failed to present its documents, the lawmakers unanimously resolved that the Agency should submit relevant documents on all the disbursements during the period.


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